And then, on Day 19 of the PapiBlogger Road Trip, LeBron Goes to Miami and the Kids Discover Snow!

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Elena's first encounter with snow.

On Day 19 of the PapiBlogger family road trip LeBron James chose the Miami Heat and the older Ruiz kids saw snow for the first time in their lives at the famous hotel where “The Shining “was shot.


Technology rescued us from missing one of Miami's biggest sports announcements.

What was amazing to us was that we got excellent video reception in the shadow of Mt. Hood.

Hours after a sluggish start to our day, on our way to the Timberline Lodge that frames the 80’s horror classic The Shining, we learned that LeBron James was holding a live interview on ESPN to announce which team he would be going to.

Jonathan and I are sports junkies so naturally we were initially bummed we would miss the exact moment when this epic decision would happen.  But then our super phone, the HTC EVO 4G phone from our partner Sprint Nextel came to the rescue!  It turns out that among the 4G live TV streaming channels that the EVO has is ESPN!   In crystal clarity we saw LeBron’s decision LIVE in the shadow of snow-capped Mount Hood, Oregon.


Behind the Timberline Lodge sits Mt. Hood, where the kids played.

Jonathan and Elena thought LeBron’s decision was the highlight of the day until we drove through the majestic forests of Mount Hood on our way to the Timberline Lodge and they saw snow.

SNOW! SNOW! SNOW!, the kids began chanting as they realized we were closing in on Mt. Hood.  When we drove up to our hotel, they went totally wild when they saw it was surrounded by the white stuff.  That’s what happens when Miami kids first encounter snow.

On the grounds of the Timberline, Jonathan and Elena had their first snow fight and even though they were not dressed for snow because they went into it with sandals, it didn’t matter.  This was it.  This was the peak moment of their trip so far.


In the evening we reveled in Timberline’s storied past.

Constructed in 1937 and officially launched by President Franklin Roosevelt, Timberline Lodge stands on the south slope of Mt. Hood at an elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level.  This beautiful 55,000 square-foot National Historic Landmark was built as a government-funded project to help put Oregonians back to work following the Great Depression and to provide them with a world class lodge to attract skiers, mountain climbers and other outdoor adventurists.

The PapiMobile (aka 2010 Chevrolet Traverse) cruises into the Timberline Lodge which "The Shining" made even more famous.

The lodge was made famous in the 80s horror film classic “The Shining” where it starred as the creeypy Overlook Hotel.  All the exterior and establishing shots were the Timberline but all the interior shots were done elsewhere.

The hotel itself is quite homey-feeling with a wood-carved rustic look that is a throw back to the 30s, an indoor heated pool, a Jacuzzi, ping-pong table and two restaurants.  The rooms are small and creeky-sounding in the middle of the night but that’s part of the charm of staying in a place with so much history.

At night the kids and Angela called it a day by watching  the non-Rated R portsion of “The Shining” until they fell asleep.


Mentally preparing your family for what to expect from a major road trip is as important as any other type of preparation you can make.  An important piece of advice is to remind that there will be days that are slow or boring.  If you tell them ahead of time they will be more tolerant of this than if you tell them later.

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